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Thread: Anti-Racism is A Form of Mental Illness

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    Post Anti-Racism is A Form of Mental Illness


    Dear Immigration Reformer:

    Anti-racism is a form of dangerous mental illness.

    I nearly screamed when I read that we must not "stereotype" Chinese people. Stereotyping is nothing more than noting a pattern. The major SOURCE of SARS is China. The initial tyhpoid Marys who brought it here, indeed, most of the dead are Chinese. It bubbled out of the disease stewpot of South China, Guangong province, near Hong Kong. Even in remote areas of the country, there's a definite China connection for SARS. The lone case in New Brunswick is a scholol principal just back from China. The lone case in P.E.I. is a family who've just brought their adopt-a-kid back from China.

    Naturally, not all Chinese are carriers, but some are. A prudent person should be careful. A pudent person might well decide to avoid Chinatown, Chinese restaurants or crowds of Chinese people. We can't be certain which of these has just come back from South China or been in contact with someone who has.

    These anti-racist monsters have created trigger words. We've been propagandized to believe they're bad -- "racist", White supremacist", "stereotype" -- and cease examining them. We become putty-like and manipulable when these verbal whips are threated.

    Professional whiner "Avy Go, a Toronto lawyer and director of the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, cited a colleague whose neighbours are constantly asking about her welfare. 'They keep trying to ask for information because they want to be sure they are safe from her,' said Go. 'Just because she's Chinese, they are asking all of these questions.'" Yes, Avvy, just because she's Chinese. And that's justified because it's Chinese who are the source of this incipient plague in Canada.

    A healthy concern about Chinese is not sterotyping; it's self-defence -- a mechanism the anti-racists seem eager to blunt in the Canadian majority.

    Paul Fromm

    Amid SARS fears, race relations experts warn against anti-Chinese backlash JAMES MCCARTEN Canadian Press
    Wednesday, April 02, 2003;ord=9?

    TORONTO (CP) - If ignorance and fear of a virulent new disease are fanning the flames of racial intolerance within Canada's largest city, overt proof is hard to find amid Chinatown's distinctive bustle and scent.

    Here, sparse crowds of lunch-hour shoppers, a handful of whom clutched surgical masks or handkerchiefs to their faces, offered the only obvious signs Wednesday of Toronto's public health emergency. But racism can be subtle, say activists who warn that Canada's ongoing battle with severe acute respiratory syndrome is fuelling a racial backlash against the Chinese community.

    Avy Go, a Toronto lawyer and director of the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, cited a colleague whose neighbours are constantly asking about her welfare.

    "They keep trying to ask for information because they want to be sure they are safe from her," said Go.

    "Just because she's Chinese, they are asking all of these questions."

    Go will be among several members of Toronto's Chinese community at a news conference Thursday to decry the racial stereotyping that's taking place in a city gripped with fear about SARS.

    After all, the disease itself doesn't discriminate, she noted.

    "We are doing ourselves a disservice by focusing the attention on one particular community when obviously it knows no bounds."

    The Toronto chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council is also urging the province to do a better job of distributing SARS information in various languages and dialects, said spokesman Chung Tang.

    Other members of the Chinese community say that as the struggle with SARS progresses, discrimination is waning as Canadians become more educated about the disease and how to guard against it.

    "When SARS first came out, we were lacking information," said Eric Fong, a professor of sociology at the University of Toronto.

    "I think those kinds of things are based on misunderstanding and lack of information, and if information continues to clarify a lot of misunderstanding, I hope that the issue will be gone by itself."

    On Monday, Toronto medical officer of health Dr. Sheela Basrur urged residents not to fear members of the Chinese community.

    "It's extremely unfortunate when I hear about cases of stigmatization and discrimination affecting Chinese school children, for example, just because they happen to look different," she said.

    "People should deal with their co-workers and their colleagues with a level of humanity and understanding that's appropriate to the circumstances."

    Getting a table at any of the Chinese restaurants along Spadina Avenue in the heart of Chinatown is normally a tall order at the height of the lunchtime rush. On Wednesday, it was a cinch.

    But as he strode along a stretch of Dundas Street that's normally thick with Chinese shoppers, Stephen Marche, 27, dismissed the idea that anyone steering clear of Chinatown is being racist.

    "I think it's a very fine line, but it would be hard to call it racism yet," Marche said.

    "I don't really see it as a stereotyping or a ghettoizing or anything like that. I suppose if you're going to be afraid, you're just not going to go to the places where you think it's going to happen."

    At Cha Liu, a popular dim sum restaurant in a well-heeled section of uptown Toronto, business was bouncing back after dropping by nearly half in recent days, said manager Jeff Kan.

    "It's probably because of the area I am in; people here are more educated, so I don't think they would (stay away)," said Kan, adding that the majority of people aren't shunning Chinese people.

    "Canadians, they wouldn't do this. They understand what is going on."

    Denouncing suggestions of racism against the Chinese community was one of the first duties of Pat Case, who took over Tuesday as chairman of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

    Case urged the city's teachers to watch for racial stereotyping and to seize what educators refer to as a "teachable moment" - a real-world situation that offers a chance for students to learn.

    And he urged Canadians who fear getting sick to stop associating the disease with members of the Chinese community.

    "I've stepped up the number of times I wash my hands," Case said.

    "It has nothing to do with the amount of time I've been in contact with Chinese people. It has to do with making sure that to the extent that I'm touching door handles or using public facilities, that I'm taking extra precautions."

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    By all means- let's make special efforts to be around the people who carry with them a plague....


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